Joy, Waltrip weigh in on Daytona 500
Photo by Jeremy Thompson/
Jeff Gordon and Mike Joy address the media inside the Daytona International Speedway Media Center Thursday. 

By Dominic Aragon Editor February 20, 2016

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla.—40 cars will start in Sunday’s Daytona 500, and members of the FOX NASCAR crew shared their insight with The Racing Experts on what could happen in Sunday’s race.

Mike Joy, who will call his 16th consecutive Daytona 500 for FOX, shared what he thinks could play out Sunday.

“I think the most important thing that we see is when a pack develops and begins to pull away, can the second group easily close up and make that pack bigger,” Joy said. “I think a small pack is going to produce better racing. Because, if you're sixth in a pack of seven, you're more will to take a chance, because if you pull out to pass, the worst you could be is seventh at that moment.

“Now if you're sixth in a pack of sixteen, and you pull out to pass and nobody goes with you, you're going to be the caboose on the train. So smaller packs are going to produce better racing. But you need to be able to get that pack back together once it strings out. So that's one of the big things we're going to be looking for.”

“It would really surprise me if this race didn't come down to for-to-six cars in one tight pack at the end battling for the win.

Photo by Justin Melillo/
Matt Kenseth practices for the Daytona 500 Friday at Daytona International Speedway. Kenseth is a two-time winner of the event.

In fact, if it doesn't come down to that, I'm going to be disappointed.” And while all starters Sunday have a shot to win the 58th Daytona 500, Darrell Waltrip discussed how many teams have a “realistic” shot of winning the race.

Five teams,” he said. “Think about that, five teams. Hendrick has four cars, Gibbs has four cars. I think if you look at the top-five car owners, they own about fifteen cars, eighteen cars, your winner will come out of one of those five teams.”

Joy offered his insight on the question. Sixteen, eighteen [drivers],” he said. “If you look at the major multi-car teams, there are that many here, and a couple of the smaller teams. I would have no trouble listing more than fifteen cars that have  a very legitimate chance to win.”

How many cars, in your opinion, have a realistic chance of winning the Daytona 500?
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